Danielle Krage is back on the podcast to give us some more invaluable speaker advice. We first had Danielle on Fireside two years ago, so we’re eager to hear her thoughts on what’s changed for speakers in the last two years, and what could be coming up next. She tells us all about her company, The Remote Speaker Coach, and her journey to founding it. While working on education projects, Danielle kept running into the same problem; she was meeting people with great ideas and amazing knowledge about their subjects, but when they got up onstage to speak - they froze. Sound familiar?
As someone who trained in theatre, Danielle knew she had the skills to help these speakers tighten up their talks, and bring the audience in with their presentation, rather than alienating them - an extra challenge when speaking remotely. It’s not just taking out an “um” here and an “ah” there, instead Danielle has a clear and systematic approach to maximising your talk to its full potential. As it turns out, a lot of this comes down to structure. After all, even though you're not performing a piece of fiction, you are still telling a story. And a story needs a beginning, middle and end. This is where Danielle starts when she works with a speaker. But there are many pitfalls beyond this.
Richard explores a particular problem that he has with slides - he pre-empts what they're going to say, making them miss their mark when he clicks onto them. Danielle drills down into the minefield that slides can present and tells us what to ask ourselves when putting them together.
- Are the slides adding to what I‘m saying, or just repeating it?
- Is each slide earning its place in the presentation?
- What’s my plan B if things go wrong?
As she puts it, a lot of what Danielle helps people to do is cut, cut, cut. She’s worked with speakers that have decided their talk should last for sixty minutes. Danielle says, why? What are you trying to say, and is there a way you can say it in forty-five minutes instead? It’s not simply about cutting time. It’s about streamlining, about keeping that momentum going and only including the most important information necessary to get your message across.
All this said, speaking is a highly individual craft, something Danielle emphasises. It’s important to listen to advice, but equally to assess your own weaknesses and strengths. What’s going to make you feel your best before speaking? Are you someone who benefits from keeping focused on yourself, or do you feed off the energy of a crowd? Knowing what works for you is a key piece of information in putting together speeches, and building a routine for when you get up onstage. If you can’t get round to hiring Danielle as your personal speaking coach, you can at least get a sample of her wisdom in this episode.
Reach out to Danielle here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniellekrage/
Find out more and listen to previous podcasts here: https://www.voxgig.com/podcast
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